Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Male

Petroclus was a shy and awkward child. As a prince, he was expected to carry his family name in honor but was a disappointment to his father who gladly exiled him to Phthia where he met another young prince.

Achilles was everything Petroclus wasn’t. As the son of a goddess, he was destined for greatness. But an unlikely friendship blossomed into something more and bound their fates for eternity.

“This will be the greatest war of our people, remembered in legend and song for generations. You are a fool not to see it.”

My love affair with ancient Greek world started in my teen when I first read The Iliad. I’ve read it multiple times since then but this book (which derived from the classic) still managed to make the story fresh.

I had found a way through the endless corridors of his pride and fury. I would save the men; I would save him from himself.

I love that this book is from Petroclus point of view – an active observer point of view. He brought in the heart and humanity factor in the story. He was the man behind the great man.

“I’d like to be a hero, though. I think I could do it. If the prophecy is true. If there’s a war. My mother says I am better even than Heracles was.”

This book reminded me how much of an entitled, selfish prick Achilles was. But it also showed his other side – the guilt and the vulnerability. And most importantly the love he had for Petroclus.

He seemed to sit across the world from me then, though he was so close I could feel the warmth rising from his skin. His hands were in his lap, spear-callused but beautiful still. No hands had ever been so gentle, or so deadly.

Some of my favorite parts of the book were the start of their friendship and the development of their relationship. I also love their trainings with Chiron. I know the war parts from the original story well, but this being Petroclus and Achilles’ story, even though I know what’s coming it hurt a lot more now.

The Song of Achilles is an epic journey of self discovery. It would appeal to readers looking for re-imagined classic story.


This review is also available on Goodreads.

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